Monday, 07 February 2022 10:18

SdE project: an opportunity to learn sustainability-driven entrepreneurship in VET sector

The recently released European sustainability competence framework reminds us of the importance of learning sustainability as a key factor in meeting current and future challenges. "Long-lasting changes require life-long learning", says the GreenComp document, which analyses and defines the competences needed to understand what sustainability is, investigate it, and then act on it to seek change.

In particular, an interesting element of the European sustainability competences framework is that it suggests to approach sustainability from all its possible sides, taking into account all the interactions it implies and all the possible points of view: not only economic, not only environmental, but also social and cultural.

With the same vision, nine European VET schools and organizations worked together in European project SdE, acronym for Sustainability-driven entrepreneurship, with the aim to improve entrepreneurial competences among students and trainers of VET sector and at the same time to increase background knowledge on sustainability. The two elements, entrepreurship and sustainability, were combined together to emphasise the importance of doing business in a sustainable way from all points of view, i.e. respecting not only the capital invested but also and above all the planet and people involved.

To achieve these objectives, the partners, led by the Finnish VET school SEDU, carry out the following activities:

  • A situation analysis survey to test the knowledge base on sustainability-driven entrepreneurship issues of both students and teachers
  • A study unit on sustainability-driven entrepreneurship
  • Teachers handbook and capacity building for trainers
  • Pilot of the learning material, including a local competition and an European level final competition in implementing the sustainability-driven entrepreneurship study unit
  • Impact evaluation to verify the impacts of the implemented study unit among the students and teachers.

In particular, the study unit is the core of the project results. It is structured in six learning outcomes, which will enable students to:

  1. Analyse their strenghts
  2. Discover the principles of sustainable development
  3. Discover the principles of life cycle thinking and circular economy
  4. Generate, develop and test sustainability-driven business ideas
  5. Produce, present and implement a sustainability-driven business plan
  6. Evaluate sustainability impact of businesses

Each learning outcome is divided into three different levels of implementation - understanding, applying and applying in a complex environment, so that the learning unit can be used by a wide range of learners with different levels of knowledge on the topic. Moreover, the study unit is designed to be studied both individually by the pupils and in class with the guidance of the teacher. In this regard, a specific handbook has been developed for teachers, so that they can learn about the methodology used and have suggestions on how to implement the learning unit in their classrooms. The handbook also includes coaching activities for each specific learning outcome to make the teaching interesting, engaging and innovative, especially in vocational education and training.

All the materials of SdE project are going to be in open source in the project website available for any trainer or student who may be interested. The website is now only partially complete, as the last project results are expected to be done by July 2022.

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